After last week’s draw with Stoke City, Theo Walcott praised Petr Cech for the way he rallied Arsene Wenger’s frustrated troops.
With yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea taking Arsenal’s winless run to three games, the veteran keeper was a little more matter-of-fact in his analysis, although he still praised his teammates for their organisation after going down to ten men on 18 minutes.
Speaking to Arsenal.com after the game, Cech tackled the thorny issue of Per Mertesacker’s dismissal: “The referee was very close. He had a clear view of the situation and he decided straight away to give a red card.
“There was no hesitation from anyone. We just had to deal with the fact. You just go on. He can’t change the decision anyway by protesting for three minutes.
“We had to regroup, we had to make sure that we reorganised and try to continue with 10 men. Unfortunately we conceded too early after the sending off.”
He added: “We are disappointed because we lost a game at home. We wanted to compete, we wanted to take advantage of playing at home, but unfortunately the decisive moment came quite early on in the game.
“Unfortunately Chelsea took advantage of that and scored. From there, they tried to control the game and playing 11 against 10 for 70 minutes is always an advantage [for Chelsea].
“I thought that, even with 10 men, we came back very strongly in the second half. We could have actually scored the equaliser but we were missing a little bit of the last touch inside the box and around the box. There were always moments where we almost got there, but we didn’t find a real opportunity to put the ball in the net.
“I thought for 70 minutes we were brilliant, in terms of the team effort and the organisation. We were not far from getting something out of the game.”